Yes Larry Page, You Are Competitive
June 30, 2013

Yes Larry Page, You Are Competitive

When Larry Page took the stage this year at the Google I/O developers conference, he made a very peculiar statement about Google’s relationship with competitors.

“Every story I read about Google is ‘us vs some other company’ or some stupid thing, and I just don’t find that very interesting. We should be building Great things that don’t exist. Being negative isn’t how we make progress. Most important things are not zero sum, there is a lot of opportunity out there.”

This is all I could think of when the Wall Street Journal posted their report about an alleged Google smartwatch, video game console and Q.

According to some inside sources, Google plans to take Android out of the pocket and onto the wrist and in the living room.

So far so good, right? Google is, after all, partially leading the charge for the so-far-imaginary wearable computing boom with Glass and if they believe the hype all the analysts are trying to drum up, it makes sense for them to make their own watch.

There’s also the excitement building around Ouya, the Android-based gaming console that’s only now available in Best Buy, Target, and online. As the Journal points out, Google’s been keeping their eye on Ouya lest they turn into another Samsung and outgrow them, the same people who wrote the source code for their OS. That’s got to be embarrassing.

There’s one line early on in the Wall Street Journal piece that sticks out to me the most.

“With the game machine and digital watch, Google is hoping to combat similar devices that Apple Inc. may release in the future, according to the people.”

It makes sense to me to keep an eye on Ouya. It makes sense to me to start looking into building a video game console. It even makes a little sense to me to at least tell some insiders who you know will squeal to the papers that you’re planning to build a watch.

(It’s what the cool kids are doing.)

These things, these decisions, these moves — they’re all a part of being competitive, and a company as large as Google needs to play the game.

What I don’t understand is why Google may be getting into the console business based on a slight rumor (Apple TV rumor it ain’t) that Apple could get into the same business?

Page’s comments at I/O were clearly bull feces, of course.

Google is nothing but competitive. They’re targeting Microsoft with Google Docs.

They’re targeting Facebook with Google+.

They’re targeting Spotify with Google Play Music.

And let’s not forget the most glaring example of their inherently competitive nature: Android.

Assuming the Wall Street Journal sources are true (and they very well might not be) Google is preparing to jump into two new markets simply because they heard Apple plans on doing the same.

In all honesty, this could also be seen as proof that Apple plans to enter these markets as well, but that’s a bit of a logical leap.

The real story here, of course, is Google wants to expand Android into new territory, and the reason is clear.

The more people who use Android and feed more data into the machine that is Google, the better targeted their ads can become and earn more money. This is what Google does. They give stuff away for free in exchange for information, offer a great working product, then encroach on their competitors’ business.

We’ve seen it before.

Page’s comments were so clearly full of bunk.

There were two other interesting points about the Wall Street Journal report.

First, insider sources claimed Google is bringing back the Q. Remember that?

Neither does anyone else.

As it turns out, it’s hard to persuade people to buy a device for $299 when Apple has a far superior product for only $99.

(That’s probably the only time you’ll ever see that sentence written out.)

The Q streaming media player did mark Google’s entrance into the hardware game, however. It had also been assumed that Google would take advantage of their $12.5 billion purchase and start cranking out smartphones and tablets from the bay doors of Motorola Mobility.

According to the Wall Street Journal piece, Google is looking to do their own thing apart from Motorola, who is getting ready to launch what may be the last smartphone in their old pipeline.

That just seems odd, no?

Image Credit: dslaven / Shutterstock

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